Projection mapping, video mapping, 3D mapping, spatial augmented reality or traditional mapping – the technology goes by many names, but its point is to captivate the viewer. There are many ways to use this technology to draw people in across a broad scope of industries, from architecture to interactive web design. Here is a look at what it is and how to use it:
Concept to Conception
At its simplest, projection mapping is the art of getting multiple projectors to work together on a surface to produce amazing visual displays. By playing video, animation or graphics off of varying textures and shapes, you can create a captivating experience of movement and light over otherwise static objects. It is also known as augmented spatial reality, 3D mapping or video mapping, this technology can transform everyday things like cakes, cars, airport terminals and even water into interactive displays. In skilled hands, you can also have projection mapping paint entire visual stories, immersive environments and fantastical illusions. It can deliver added impact combined with dramatic lighting effects. Mapping has a long history, but it has experienced a surge in popularity and convenience recently. It is used in a wide range of applications from projecting colours and designs onto cars in a showroom to elevating products at an international trade show to providing an ambient backdrop synchronized to music at a concert or the atmosphere at a sports arena. Most commonly, we see this technology used to transform entire public spaces or storefronts into art on a large scale.
The quintessential tools for projection mapping are self-evidently a range of powerful software and projectors. They map the coordinates of objects in relation to the projectors to align multiple projections together and control all the hardware. Its orientation, position and lens specifications on the projector are used to arrange a virtual scene. Concealed templates can be used to hide the exact positions and shapes of different elements of the space or geometry of the projection. Being able to bring 3D models straight into the software helps creators visualize and design more complex projection mapping exhibits. Advances in high-resolution and high-lumens projection technology, up to 8K and beyond, and increasingly sophisticated software have pushed the creative possibilities of this technique. Reductions in its price also mean the technology has moved from the budgets of an elite few into the hands of venue owners of all sizes. Many more advertising brands, design agencies and live event specialists can incorporate it into their campaigns.
Same Technique on Different Surfaces
Mapping can be loosely divided into two classes: 2D and 3D. Where the projection map consists of flat surfaces such as walls, screens, ceilings and floors to amplify the event space is considered 2D. While 3D objects are often cornered, curved or otherwise have an irregular shape, and its purpose is to create interactive displays. In particular, 3D projection mapping is capable of creating mind-bending effects by warping content around geometry through control software, allowing images to take on a physical form. Mapping commands edge-blending to guarantee a seamless result. Geometry editing and blending several projectors harmoniously on a convoluted surface can be a time-consuming and tedious task. Using an electronic camera projection alignment system can save you energy and time for both the initial calibration and recalibration. But, the easiest way to take advantage of this technology is by enlisting in the help of a company dedicated to it. Contact Above Mapping, and we can help you with any of your projection mapping needs. Our team of experienced and knowledgeable mappers can make your vision come to life no matter how big or small it is.